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National Wind Energy Workforce Assessment: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Needs

National Wind Energy Workforce Assessment: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Needs

Full Title: National Wind Energy Workforce Assessment: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Needs
Author(s): Brinn McDowell, Jeremy Stefek, Elena Smith, Bailey Pons, and Quaran Ahmad
Publisher(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Publication Date: March 23, 2024
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Understanding the workforce needs to meet U.S. wind energy deployment goals is essential for successfully transitioning to a clean energy future. Recognizing how key levers, which are defined as actions that influence workforce supply and demand (e.g., automation, acceptance rates, perception of wind energy industry jobs), impact behaviors and estimations can provide insight into actions to equitably and sustainably develop the wind energy workforce. The increased need to further develop a domestic wind supply chain along with the ever-present wind workforce gap has revealed the urgency of enacting or expanding programs and policy to help grow a qualified wind industry workforce. The wind workforce gap is defined as the disconnect between employers having difficulty finding qualified candidates while potential wind energy workers report having difficulty finding jobs and educational institutions having difficulty placing students in industry.
For this assessment, a systems dynamic model was created to better understand potential scenarios and actions that could be used to help close the workforce gap. The survey was conducted to understand the perspective of wind industry firms, wind educators, current wind energy industry employees, and current renewable energy students on the workforce pathways into the wind industry. The information gathered through the survey effort was used to help develop workforce estimation scenarios, gain insight into why the workforce gap exists, and evaluate areas of opportunity to reduce barriers of entry into the wind energy industry. Through this analysis, they determined that to close the workforce gap collaborative actions between industry and education institutions are needed to ultimately connect more job seekers to careers in wind.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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